We drove in to Chile on August the 27th at Hito Cajon, leaving the laguna route in Bolivia behind us. So far this is our highest border crossing at 4634 masl. So few people cross the border here, that we practically had to wake somebody up. It was quick and easy though and within less than an hour we had left the cold and wind behind us and were in San Pedro de Atacama. A nice little town that reminded us of some villages in Mexico. At an altitude of about 2600 masl and with temperatures around 25C it was much nicer climate than at the laguna route in Bolivia. 

Here we immediately noticed the difference between the rather poor Bolivia and relatively rich Chile. Better houses and supermarkets and also more expensive. Chile also has a very good infrastructure with modern roads and highways that even have emergency lanes and rest stops, something we haven’t seen since Panama. The cars are also in better shape and people drive quite well. After many months in countries with, well, “ different” driving we actually had to adjust our own driving , so we don’t piss off to many people 😬

Water coming from taps, should be drinkable but since the North of Chile is bone dry it’s not always easy to come by. The Atacama desert is the driest place on earth and this shows. We have driven hundreds of miles with nothing but rocks and sand and on occasion a very grey and dry “plant” We also didn’t see any trees for hundreds of kilometres more, unless somebody had planted it in a village and it was being watered. This makes for quite a boring landscape. Most of the sightseeing in Chile is to be done in the much greener, but also much colder South.

It’s winter now in Chile, spring starts in October. At the coast there’s often a strong and cold wind blowing. Without that wind however temperatures up here in the North can still reach the mid twenties (C). But further South and a bit higher up in the mountains the skiing season is now in full swing.

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